A few different experiences last week reinforced my conviction that storytelling can constitute significant “action” and advancement, including work done in networks for (and as) change. The first was during a session that I co-delivered on behalf of IISC with the Graustein Memorial Fund and The Color of Words, about our work with an early childhood system change effort in Connecticut called Right From the Start. During the conference session we emphasized that one of the biggest leverage points for system change is at the level of narrative and belief systems.
Surfacing the dominant implicit and explicit stories about what is and should be, analyzing the degree to which they align with our values and intentions, and countering/reframing them if and as necessary has been part of the work of Right From the Start (RFTS). Read More
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
-T. S. Eliot
It’s interesting to see how, as much as things evolve, there is also a circularity to this movement. For the past few years we have been working with the Graustein Memorial Fund on Right from the Start, an early childhood system change initiative for which the Fund has served as core convenor and funder. Come to find out that IISC’s new President, Ceasar McDowell, was in on early conversations that launched the Memorial Fund’s unique and wonderful Discovery program to seed community-based collaboratives for early childhood development planning. Read More
|Image from Ritwik Dey|http://www.flickr.com/photos/ritwikdey/425995583/in/photostream|
At the end of last year, I posted a piece about our work with an early childhood system change initiative through the Graustein Memorial Fund in Connecticut. At the time we were exploring different formats and technologies for creating a new “system blueprint” for early childhood development in the state. Our post and related tweets asked for possible resources to conceptualize and create a living blueprint for this dynamic system, and I wanted to give an update about what we have heard so far and where we stand in our conversations.
As the Core Team has engaged in its research about all this, we’ve realized that there are three separate but possibly connected aspects to this “blueprint”conversation”: Read More
I have written a few times in this space (see “Right from the Start” and “The System is Us”) about our work with the Graustein Memorial Fund and stakeholders from around Connecticut to re-conceptualize and change the early childhood development system in the state so that all families and children are thriving. We are currently in the midst of a visioning process, whereby members of the System Design Team are engaging various constituents in conversations about what it would look like if the system were truly providing equitable and excellent support and opportunities to all children, regardless of race, ability, and income. In addition, we are asking what foundational beliefs, or values, would under-gird such a reality brought to life. This phase kicked off with a series of interviews with participants in the Memorial Fund’s annual Stone Soup Conference. This included parents, child care providers, elected officials, advocates of all kinds, and the keynote speaker – Ralph Smith. Check out the series above, along with others posted on the Right from the Start site. There is an emerging picture forming here, that speaks to the power of collective visioning. What do you see?
|Photo by laurenatclemson|http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurenmanning/2319032882/in/photostream|
A couple of weeks ago, during a training with early childhood advocates from around Connecticut, an interesting conversation ensued about vision. This was prompted by one participant’s comment that in this day and age, “There is no such thing as vision. There is no such thing as magic or miracles. People are cynical. People just don’t respond to vision anymore.” There was some immediate push back to this comment, and also some acknowledgment that vision may not be what it used to be, thinking of the old standards a la MLK and JFK.